Fiona Campbell on her e-trike rides safely on separated cycleways with Blacktown’s planners and designers on HelloRide bikes (Image: City of Sydney)
This is a big deal
This little tour is a big deal for Blacktown and Greater Sydney. Because, it shows that Blacktown City Council is facing its future challenges with heart. To provide context, Blacktown is Sydney’s youngest (average age 33), most culturally diverse, and fastest-growing LGA. Indeed, by 2036 its population will likely reach 500,000.
Blacktown is challenged by cost-of-living pressures and chronic lack of active transport infrastructure. There are criss-crossing motorways and not nearly enough trees. The resultant urban heat sinks. Car-dependence creates big environmental and health challenges.
But Blacktown City Council’s design team is committed to building a city that enables cycling for transport as well as leisure.
Separation is key
The designers noted that separated bike lanes make riding so much safer and fun. Because they can relax without having to worry about cars. They also appreciated the power and appeal of e-bikes for people of all ages and abilities. Even distances and hills were no problem. On top of that, e-bikes increase the commuter radius and offer greener, healthier commutes.